Wednesday, March 09, 2016

Silver Stream returns briefly to Kilcullen

The Diary got tipped off yesterday that a very special car had returned to Kilcullen, if only briefly, writes Brian Byrne.

So we headed out fast to get a couple of pics of the famous and unique Silver Stream, built in 1909 by Phillip Townsend Somerville-Large, who lived in Carnalway.

He had planned to emulate the success of the Rolls Royce cars of the time, buying in the best of components to build his own special car.

With a Gnome 6-cylinder engine of just over three litres in capacity, he had the bodywork in Roi-de-Belges touring style constructed by Salmons of Newport Pagnell in England to his own design.

The estimated finished cost was around £2,000, for which sum one could have bought a large house, so there were apparently no takers for further production.

The car spent many years on display as part of the Lucey Collection at the Killarney Motor Museum, but doesn't get seen much these days since that closed. It was last sold at auction for £130,000 in 2007, at the RAF Museum in London.

Pictured yesterday, the Silver Stream is stripped to its shell, having been in for some restoration. One of the things the eagle-eyed will notice is that the chassis has now been painted a dark blue, which I'm led to believe was in fact the original colour.

The picture below, courtesy of Ronan Murphy, shows the car on a rare outing in Crookstown in 2011.